Although President Biden has yet to announce he is running for re-election, it appears that he is preparing to garner youth votes by using influencers to get them. According to Axios, Biden is hoping to gain the support of even more young voters, who are essential to Democrats in elections. Democrats are relying on popular influencers to get the attention of young voters who are not yet part of their social media circle. The digital strategy includes using influencers who work for the White House, not necessarily the Biden campaign.
Despite a poll that shows Biden is already popular among youth, with young voters (ages 18-29) preferring Biden over Trump by a 26-point margin in the 2020 elections, and Democrats leading Republicans in the 2022 midterms by 28 points, the Democrat party is not ceasing to work hard to maintain and grow their support.
The White House is reportedly making their digital strategy for the upcoming election a priority. Rob Flaherty, who is leading the effort, will be named an assistant to the president which will have the same level of importance as the White House press secretary and White House communications director. The White House is even moving to provide a White House briefing room just for influencers, after some asked to have access to the traditional Press Briefing Room.
Jen O’Malley Dillon, White House deputy chief of staff, said “We’re trying to reach young people, but also moms who use different platforms to get information and climate activists and people whose main way of getting information is digital.”
Among the hundreds of influencers who are working with the White House are ‘Harry Sisson, a 20-year-old NYU student who breaks down the day’s news on TikTok; Boston College professor Heather Cox Richardson, who has a widely read Substack and huge Twitter following; and Vivian Tu, a former trader who discusses financial topics in short clips on TikTok and Instagram.”
President Biden has been seen on influencers’ channels including on Daniel Mac’s, who has 13.8 million followers on TikTok, when he was invited to the Detroit Auto Show in September. Mac was asking “drivers of nice cars” what they did for a living, including President Biden who said “well I’m married to Jill Biden and I make sure we’re making a lot more electric vehicles in America,” while sitting in a Cadillac LYRIQ. The video with Biden was reportedly seen 38 million times.
With the White House’s plan to claim the support of the youngest generation of voters, they are optimistic that influencers will be the key to doing so. While President Trump has a large following on YouTube and Facebook, the youngest generation of voters have a larger presence on the Chinese social media company, TikTok, and Instagram. Although there have been calls to ban TikTok because of its use by China, American youth and even President Biden himself still use the platform, and it appears it will now have a special place right in the White House.